Tony Ferguson: “When Khabib [Nurmagomedov] left, a little part of me left with that”
Tony Ferguson recently opened up about never getting the opportunity to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in the octagon.
The Ferguson-Nurmagomdedov matchup is perhaps one of the most ill-fated pairings in UFC history. While the two men were booked to face each other on five separate occasions, the bout could never materialize due to one reason or another. Injuries caused two bookings to get scrapped, while the COVID-19 travel bans caused the fifth and final cancelation in March 2020.
Given how badly Tony Ferguson wanted this challenge, it's unsurprising that the former interim lightweight champion was sorely disappointed to see the fight fall through every single time. Despite all their efforts, the two could never share the octagon, and Khabib Nurmagomedov ultimately retired after defending his lightweight title for the third time against Justin Gaethje in October 2020.
In a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Ferguson discussed the Nurmagomedov bout and expressed his dismay at never getting to clash with 'The Eagle.' He said:
"I know when Khabib left, a little part of me left with that. It kind of sucked a little bit because we’ve always had that, I don’t want to say negative energy, but that hype that was built around that. Then when that disappeared and the pandemic hit and the f***king team left and then just a whole bunch there was nothing else left for me kind of. "
Tony Ferguson wants to fight Conor McGregor after Paddy Pimblett at UFC 296
Tony Ferguson recently revealed that he's already looking ahead of his Paddy Pimblett fight and wants to face Conor McGregor next year.
Ferguson is set to face 'The Baddy' at UFC 296 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 16. The highly anticipated pay-per-view event will be headlined by a welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington.
The past few years haven't been kind to Tony Ferguson and the former interim lightweight champion is on a dismal six-fight losing streak. While his losing slide was preceded by an incredible 12-fight win streak, many are convinced Ferguson's best days are behind him. Even Dana White recently suggested that 'El Cucuy' could call it a career if he lost to Pimblett.
However, Tony Ferguson isn't close to considering retirement and is already looking for future opponents. During an interview with ESPN, he said:
"I have nothing against the kid. Patrick seems like a pretty legit dude... As soon as we get through this dude, we’ll go after Conor if he’ll sign on the dotted line and get through USADA."
Catch Ferguson's comments below (22:20):